Carer's Needs Assessments
If you look after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner and caring has a major impact on your life then a Carer's Needs Assessment could help you. Completing a Carer's Needs Assessment will help to identify what help and support you need.
New to Caring
According to a report published in 2105 by Carers UK (the national body which campaigns on behalf of Carers), 19,048 people in North Lincolnshire look after someone who is sick or has a disability, and that Carers in North Lincolnshire save the country £382 million per year.
In another survey, half of the Carers providing sustantial care said they took longer than two years to realise that they were a Carer. A further survey suggested that the level of take-up of disability and caring benefits is low: only 50% of potentially eligible people claim disability and Carers' benefits. The low benefit take-up compounds Carers' problems. If Carers do not get the right support, their health suffers.
This is why the Carers' Support Centre, through this website, tries to reach out to Carers to let them know what services are available.
Even those who do claim Carers' Allowance at the current rate of £62.70 a week (April 2017) - £1.79 an hour for a 35 hour week - it does not go very far.
If you are new to caring - or have only just become aware that you are a Carer - your first job should be to contact the Carers' Support Centre on 01652 650585 and we will be able to advise you on any financial help you can get. We can provide information, advice and welcome you to one of our Carer Groups.
Caring and Working
It may feel as though your world has been turned upside down when you take on a caring role for a friend or relative. Caring can be unpredictable, it can happen overnight and often cannot be planned and work is important for well-being, income and to keep social contacts.
As a working Carer you may need support at work and often different levels of support at different times. You may find that the best or only way to manage your work and caring responsibilties is to change your work arrangements. You may also need to take leave at short notice for emergencies. Employers may also be able to offer additional flexibility through their own policies and procedures.
Flexible working patterns can allow employees to manage both work and their caring responsibilities. Flexible working could include:
- Flexible starting and finishing hours
- Compressed working hours e.g. work a 35 hour week over four days instead of five
- Term-time working
- Job sharing and part time working
- Homeworking or teleworking
If you are thinking of leaving work, consider whether or not you really want to, and if not, what may help you stay in work.
First think about the things you would be giving up, and whether you really want to lose them
- will you manage with less money?
- do you want to give up the independence and social contact you have through your work?
- will you lose valuable skills if you leave?
- how would leaving work affect your future pension entitlement?
Then, think about ways around the problem, could you
- make a request for flexible working?
- take a career break?
- ask for extra help from social services?
- buy in care?
Remember that employers value skilled, experienced and committed members of staff and are keen to keep them. Your employer may be able to help in ways you have not considered. Talk to them about your situation.
Social Services in your local council are responsible for providing support for old/disabled people and their families and Carers. Carers have a right to an assessment which looks at the help you need to manage your caring role.
In England and Wales, the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 says that Carer's Assessments must consider your work situation when looking at the help that you and the person you care for need.